According to the World Health Organization (WHO), after high blood pressure, high blood sugar and tobacco use, physical inactivity is the 4th leading risk factor for mortality in the world. Therefore, it is important for people to have a physically active lifestyle. But does exercise confer the same benefits on every person to the same extent?
Five universities in the US and Canada recruited 40 African-American families and 90 Caucasian families to the Heritage Family Study. The aim of the study was to investigate genetic role in the cardiovascular, hormonal and metabolic responses to the same twenty-week program of exercise the families undertook.
While race, sex, age had a minimal effect on the training effects, scientists noted in a 2007 report that was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology that there exist clear inter-individual differences in how people respond to regular exercise. These differences are aggregate in families.
The results of the study showed that genes influence how our bodies respond to physical activity. Genes play a big role in determining changes in body composition after exercise programs – such as body mass index, weight, or percentage of body fat.